Week 6 Tale Of The Tape: Indianapolis Colts At Tennessee Titans

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 08: T.Y. Hilton #13 of the Indianapolis Colts catches a pass for a first down in overtime during the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 08: Bobby McCain #28 of the Miami Dolphins tackles DeMarco Murray #29 of the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter on October 8, 2017 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
  • Quarterback
    Jacoby Brissett is an athletic and well-trained quarterback who has given the Colts a chance to win since being installed as the team’s starting quarterback. Brissett has completed 60.6 percent of his passes in throwing for 997 yards, but his 2-3 TD-interception ratio is not good enough. While he can escape pressure and he has run for three scores, the team clearly needs Andrew Luck back in the lineup.
    Marcus Mariota is expected to return to the Titans’ lineup this week, and he has the skills to develop into one of the top quarterbacks in the game. Mariota excels at deciphering opposing defenses and executing winning plays. He has completed 60 percent of his passes this year and is one of the top athletes at the position.
  • Offense
    The Colts don’t have the kind of running game that is going to overpower opponents, and that’s just what they need to support Brissett. Veteran Frank Gore runs with some power and has rushed for 239 yards, but he has lost a step. Wideout T.Y. Hilton has explosive speed and has caught 24-466-1, and he will stretch opposing defenses. TE Jack Doyle has good hands and is a solid third-down option.
    DeMarco Murray is a special running back with the power to run over tacklers and the speed to run by them. He has run for 273 yards and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and he gets support from power back Derrick Henry. Rishard Matthews and Eric Decker are fine supporting receivers, but it’s clear that Mariota needs TE Delanie Walker (21-244-0) to do more than he has to this point.
  • Defense
    The Colts have had problems stopping opponents for years, and this year’s defense ranks 31st in yards allowed and is especially vulnerable against the pass. ILB Jon Bostic is a solid tackler who leads the team with 40 stops. Former Patriot Jabaal Sheard leads the team with 2.5 sacks, but he needs to pick up the pace if the Colts are going to be competitive. The secondary has struggled since the start of the season.
    The Titans are a better defensive team than the Colts, but they rank 21st in yards allowed and they need to be somewhat more effective to become a legitimate contender. Wesley Woodyard is a solid tackler who leads the team with 41 stops, and he is supported by OLB Derrick Morgan who has a team-high 3.0 sacks.
  • Special Teams
    The Colts have great confidence in their special teams, and they know that when they send veteran PK Adam Vinatieri onto the field, he is going to be successful nearly all the time. Quan Bray has speed and is a decent return man.
    The Titans have a potential gamebreaker in Adoree Jackson, who has the speed and instincts to turn any game around with a huge return. Ryan Succop has become one of the most dependable placekickers in the league, having made 11 of 12 FG attempts.
The Titans should get a lift from the return of Mariota to the starting lineup, and they are a better and more athletic team than the Colts. A fast start by Tennessee could turn this game into a blowout.